A brand name is the first one on the scene in a marketing situation. You typically know the name before you know much else. You see it in when you’re scanning search engine results, or hear it when getting a referral from a friend. Just milliseconds after exposure, you’re already forming your initial impressions based on the name alone.
It’s probably the smallest of all logo deliverables. Often, it’s just a single word. But the craftsmanship that goes into that word gives it a density that makes it unlike any other marketing deliverable. You might spend 10 hours writing a big marketing document, but you could easily spend ten times that long crafting the perfect one-word document that is a brand name. It has to be a powerhouse.
It’s unfortunate that so many businesses feel stuck with names that do very little for them. In the frenzy to get started, many businesses wind up forever branded with whatever sounded good at an early lunch meeting between the founders. Often it’s something that sounds comfortable and vaguely positive (“Advanced Systems,” “Pinnacle Consulting,” “Synergy Group,” etc.) or just the founders names. It’s rarely something that’s gone through an actual branding exercise. Then, as the business matures they start to feel like it’s “too late to change,” even though it’ll actually never be easier than it is right now. (If the business is growing, after all, it only gets harder as time passes.)
Brand naming isn’t just fluffy marketing stuff. It’s a money thing. Check this out:
Your multimillion dollar company has a generic, vaguely positive name. You spend $250,000 on sales and marketing, trying to remind people you exist and that they should remember you. And you’re swimming upstream, because the natural tendency is to ignore or forget you.
Now, what would happen if your company name were shorter, more evocative, easier to pronounce, more poetic, and more memorable? What if it were actually a cool name instead of a boring corporate one? How much less might you have to spend on marketing every year? Or how much more effective would that marketing be? Sure, there’ll be some transition time where you have to work on changing the name everywhere, but overall, what kind of impact would that have on your annual revenue over the next five years?
Do the math, and then decide if spending the money rename your company is really as crazy as it might sound on the surface. Once you actually run the numbers, you’ll find this stuff actually starts to make a lot of sense!